We like to think that nothing beats a home cooked meal, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming or boring.
These 5 meal prep tips will help make your meals taste more satisfying while saving time and leaving you unstressed. Sounds like a win-win? Let’s get bulk cooking!
Choose similar ingredients that are versatile to cook with
We all know having the same meal over and over again can get boring. So to give your meals an ‘oomph’ throughout the week, opt for key ingredients that can be incorporated in different recipes during your cook up.
For instance, if you’re planning to prep a tofu salad, you can then use the main ingredients in a wrap or use the protein in a pasta recipe. That way there’s a variety in what you eat.
You want to give yourself something you’ll look forward to having, so by keeping it interesting, you are more likely to enjoy what you eat – and get excited about it!
Mish Tip: Bento lunch boxes are perfect for making some ‘Adult Lunchables’. Throw in some chopped up fruit or veg, mix in a trail mix of nuts, make a yoghurt/berry/granola ensemble or add in a spread of crackers, dips and complimentary snacks to go!
Plan your week ahead
You kicked off Week 1 of meal prep in flying colours, but Week 2 has crept up and you’ve realised you’re short on time. What should you do?
Meal prepping is both a habit and a skill to pick up and adapt. The secret to being consistent with your food preparation is allocating a scheduled time to do your grocery shop and to cook up your meals, keeping in mind what your upcoming week will look like. Make sure to also have your shopping list ready to go.
It’ll take discipline, but once you get the ball rolling, you’ll begin to adopt a routine that’ll keep you in the swing of it.
Eat what’s in season
When choosing seasonal foods, they’ll be in more abundance and more likely available at a lower price. So a great money saving hack is to bulk buy vegetables when they are in season and then freeze them to use later in things like casseroles, soups, stews or curries.
Also Read: 5 Freezer Friendly Recipes For Back To Work.
You can adapt recipes by switching expensive foods for similar (and cheaper) ingredients that are in season. Plus, when seasonal fruits and veg are at their peak ripeness, they’ll be fresher, tastier and often higher in nutritional value!
Get your storage right
The last thing you want happening after spending a chunk of your day preparing your meals is later realising it wasn’t packed properly or it’s gone all soggy. Ugh, annoying!
Some helpful storage tips:
- Have a stash of containers of different shapes and sizes. You want them BPA free and freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe.
- Choose airtight containers that seal properly.
- It’s all about that space, baby! Avoid overstocking your refrigerator so chilled air can circulate. If you’re looking for a fridge with AMAZING storage, check out the 635L Side by Side Fridge by LG. This fridge is a beast when it comes to space, and it also has some really cool features, such as the Surround Cooling™ feature which circulates cool air from multiple directions to keep the temp steady. This means your ingredients stay fresher for longer!
- Make sure your hot food has cooled down before popping it in the fridge or freezer.
- Completely dry your cut up fruit and veggies before placing it in a container to prevent moisture build up.
- Separate your soup based or liquid foods and sauces from your main foods (e.g rice or breads), so it doesn’t get soggy.
- For things like freshly cut fruits (e.g. apple or pears), squeeze or rub some lemon on it to prevent it from browning.
- Properly portion out your foods when preparing a bigger cooking batch so you can easily freeze some for later.
Mish Tip: You can avoid food wastage by properly storing foods and having meals and leftovers all packed, labelled and easily accessible in the fridge.
It helps to stick to a meal plan
When you’re running around doing errands or balancing work priorities in between picking up the kids, sorting out what meals to prep and how much for the week can feel overwhelming. So having your recipes sorted in advance will be a huge time-saver.
When there is a clear list of ingredients, serving size amounts, as well as a prep and cook time, this will take the guesswork out of planning out your meals for the week. Check out these top 5 batch cooking recipes from the 12WBT program for inspiration.
Mish Tip: The great thing about the 12WBT Program is that you can easily swap meals or mix and match recipes with the meal plans to suit you.
We hope you’re feeling more confident with these 5 meal prep tips! It can be both a time and money saver, especially when making a larger cooking batch. Saving some as freezer-ready meals will also serve as the perfect backup – and you’d have dodged getting takeout!
Let us know in the comments any additional tips you use or what you’re struggling with when it comes to bulk cooking.
Post written in partnership with LG.